Sprint re-invests in Clearwire, will offer LTE Advanced in 2013By Rick Burgess
Sprint Nextel has extended their partnership with Clearwire in a deal valued at $1.6 billion over the next four years. Sprint will gain better wholesale pricing on WiMax and access to LTE Advanced in the next couple of years. Meanwhile, Clearwire will be able to pay its bills as concerns it would not be able to meet its Q4 obligations are averted.
LTE Advanced is a high-speed wireless technology officially ratified as 4G by the ITU in 2010. The wireless standard meets IMT-Advanced requirements, which suggests this latest implementation of LTE provides theoretical download speeds of 1Gbps standing still and 100Mbps while in motion.
Sprint's re-investiture in Clearwire will allow the mobile carrier to enjoy uninterrupted, unlimited WiMax coverage until about 2015. Currently, Sprint subscribers account for the vast majority of Clearwire customers, so the mobile carrier's partnership is imperative to Clearwire. Meanwhile, the company will be working to roll out an LTE Advanced network for Sprint with a preliminary target date in 2013.
Clearwire will be receiving about $926 million from Sprint between 2012 and 2013 for continuing the company's WiMax access. Pending specific build-out targets and goals for Clearwire's new LTE Advanced network, the mobile provider will also pay $350 million for access to additional LTE capacity. Under the deal, Sprint will also offer up to $347 million to the company, depending on whether or not Clearwire can raise $400 million to $700 million in new equity.
Clearwire's shares rose by a whopping 31% on Thursday, peaking at $2.34.